Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Bidita Bag, Jatin Goswami, Divya Dutta, Shraddha Das
Unapologetic use of guns, unabashedly spilling guts and blood everywhere and then turning away from the ugly trade of murder and mayhem into the submission of love – that’s BABUMOSHAI BANDOOKBAAZ, Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s one more tryst with noir cinema.
Nawaz revels in situations that call for nasty, crude dialogues and shocking twists in the script, so it was hardly a surprise to see Babu Bihari (Nawazuddin) setting the tone of the film from the first scene. He kills for a living, and began too early in life to now sit and regret the turn of events. He enjoys guns and gals, and loves living it up in his crude coolness. His closeness with Phulwa is for all to see, almost literally.
Sitting with his friend, co-assassin cum ardent fan, who has christened himself Banke Bihari (Jatin Goswami), Babu gives us a whole run down on how he began, Banke too shares his experiences with the gun, ensuring that Babu knows how much he is been revered. It is only when Banke realizes that his charges for a job (same job, at that) is much less as compared to Babu’s do a few feathers get ruffled. Somewhere in the course of enjoying each other’s company they end up getting pitted against each other.
While they challenge each other to kill three people or quit, they are slowly being sucked into the politics of the state and more… the film gets darker when it comes to emotions than it is in terms of action. We are dealing with all kinds of people here, husbands who like to see their wives being touched by other men, women who want lovers to kill for them, and lovers who don’t mind sharing….
It is the dark side of the world but Kushan hasn’t really succeeded in shocking us nor has he celebrated the unapologetic stance of his characters. While Nawaz being Nawaz excels in every scene, Bidita and Jatin come close to giving a perfect pitch performance too. Given the film speaks about a world neither of these actors have inhabited, their dialogue delivery and characterization being absolutely perfect is worth applauding. Yet the tone of the film doesn't excite. Everything is reported in a cut and dry manner which is far from entertaining some times. Sometimes the dialogues of the film get to you, sometimes you cringe at their lewdness of thought.
There are so many characters in the film whose very existence is redundant. There are so many scenes which are there only for effect, which in turn twists the fate of the film from being ‘ahead of its time’ to a 'me-too-please'! Everything in the film leaves you with a sense of deja vu, the characters resonate sounds which we have already heard, yet Kushan has stuck to the crudeness of it all with the hope that the audience will be shocked enough, or even repulsed, to applaud his guts. Given the way the film’s trailer was lauded, it is sorely disappointing to state it promised more than the film delivered. While everything in the film states the Gangs of Wasseypur kind of vibe, the film ended up being a wannabe Wasseypur instead of a hardcore Babumoshai.
It is disheartening, that despite such a fine starcast, Nandy leaves us disgruntled.